(Alliance News) - On Thursday, major European stock markets confirmed expectations and opened in positive territory as a slew of results are released in Milan and as much macro data in Europe.

Thus, the FTSE Mib opens in the green 0.1 percent to 34,794.00, the Mid-Cap is in the red 0.1 percent to 48,180.14, the Small-Cap gives up 0.4 percent to 28,349.71, as does Italy Growth at 8,055.23.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 is in green by 0.3 percent, as is London's FTSE 100, while Frankfurt's DAX 40 is in fractional red.

In macroeconomic news, data from the Office for National Statistics confirmed Thursday that the UK has entered a technical recession in the fourth quarter of 2023.

UK Gross Domestic Product slumped 0.3 percent in the three months to December from the previous quarter, unchanged from initial data provided by the ONS in February.

In Germany, retail sales fell 1.9% month-on-month in February, missing market estimates of 0.3% growth and accelerating from January's marginally revised 0.3% decline.

The data were released Thursday by the Federal Statistical Office.

On the Mib, Saipem, in the green by 2.2 percent, does better than all, while going to the bottom the other oil Tenaris, down 1.1 percent at the start.

Also in the sector, Eni picks up 0.2 percent. Ithaca Energy said Wednesday it was in talks to combine Eni's UK operations in a deal that would see the Italian oil major acquire a near 40 percent stake in the North Sea operator in exchange.

Intesa Sanpaolo--up 0.5 percent--reported Wednesday that it and a pool of international banks had taken part in USD315 million in financing for Mytilineos to build four solar parks in Chile.

Mytilineos is a Greek company involved in the construction and development of renewable energy projects.

Campari rises 0.4 percent after announcing that EUR550 million 2.375 percent senior unsecured convertible bonds maturing in 2029 have been admitted to trading at Euronext Access Milan, the multilateral trading system operated by Borsa Italiana.

On the cadet segment, Fincantieri -- in the green by 1.2 percent -- and the Indonesian Ministry of Defense announced Thursday that they had signed a contract, as part of the collaborative relationship initiated by the Italian Ministry of Defense, for the supply of two PPA units, worth EUR1.18 billion.

RCS MediaGroup gives up 0.3 percent after it reported Wednesday that it closed fiscal year 2023 with a net profit of EUR57.0 million from EUR50.1 million in the previous year and proposed the distribution of a dividend of EUR0.07 per share from EUR0.06 in the previous year.

Revenues amounted to EUR828.0 million from EUR845.0 million in 2022.

Among smallcaps, EuroGroup Laminations is flat at EUR3.75 per share after reporting Thursday that it ended 2023 with a net income of EUR38.6 million, which compares with EUR43.8 million in the previous year.

In 2023, revenues were EUR835.9 million, down slightly by 1.8 percent from 2022, when they were EUR851.1 million. The result was driven by solid growth in the EV & Automotive segment, which almost completely offset the contraction in the Industrial segment.

It Way - not yet affected by the exchanges - let it be known that Roberto Castelli, former founder of Bcloud and Strategic Consultant at Itway since February 2023, will take over as commercial director of the company in March 2024 to support the commercial structure of the Cybersecurity & Resiliency Business Unit.

Exprivia gives up 7.2 percent after letting it be known that the board of directors has approved the plan to merge Exprivia into Abaco3.

Among SMEs, Valica--not yet affected by trading--reported that shareholders have delegated the company's board to carry out a maximum EUR7.0 million capital increase.

Neosperience - in the green by 1.7 percent - reported Thursday that its subsidiary Value China has been awarded the Commercial Authorization Certificate by Xiaohongshu - Little Red Book - and organized the first European seminar dedicated to Western companies to launch the Chinese social commerce platform, which has become a spokesman for Italian excellence in China.

EdiliziAcrobatica gives up 8.6 percent after announcing Thursday that it reported a net profit of EUR6.1 million in 2023 from EUR14.5 million as of Dec. 31, 2022.

The company let it know that it has proposed to distribute a dividend of EUR0.15 per share from EUR0.80.

Consolidated revenues for the period stood at EUR158.8 million, up 18 percent from EUR134.5 million.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed Thursday down 1.5 percent to 40,168.07, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.6 percent to 3,010.66 and the Hang Seng was up 0.9 percent to 16,541.42.

In New York, the Dow closed Wednesday up 1.2 percent to 39,760.08, the Nasdaq rose 0.5 percent to 16,399.52 while the S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent to 5,248.49.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0793 against USD1.0822 recorded at Wednesday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2609 from USD1.2627 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD85.80 per barrel versus USD86.08 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,215.05 an ounce from USD2,191.90 an ounce last night.

Thursday's macroeconomic calendar includes at 0955 CET, Germany's unemployment rate, followed five minutes later by Italian business and consumer confidence, as well as the Eurozone money supply figure.

Still from Italy, at 1100 CET coming in is the non-EU trade balance and producer price index.

From the US, at 1330 CET, GDP and weekly unemployment claims.

At 1800 CET, coming in is the Baker Hughes drilling rig data. In the evening, at 2130 CET, the weekly balance sheet and reserves at the Federal Reserve.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

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